Building Blocks I Day Six
Nourish Your Mind
Play with the Energy
Over the past five days, you've taken incredible leaps and bounds in building your meditation practice. You've learned four of the 12 Core Meditation Techniques, and you've broadened your understanding of the psychological and physiological effects meditation has on the brain and body. Today we're going to take time to review and practice each technique you've learned so far. (Repetition is key!)
Let's review the first four of the 12 Core Meditation Techniques.
Open-Focus using both the body and the breath
Relaxation into the field of all potential
Heart-Centered for generating an elevated emotion
Mantra for quieting the chatter in the mind
The key to building a practice that you'll actually stick with is finding a way of meditating that feels both nourishing and sustainable. Meditation isn't somewhere you arrive; it's a practice that journeys and adapts along with you.
Learning how to read and manage your own energy is key to understanding how to best meditate for you. How has your energy been over the past five days? Which meditation left you energized and excited? Which left you relaxed and calmed? Did any of the techniques challenge or frustrate you?
While we recommend eventually pushing yourself to return to the methods that challenged you, it's important to have early wins when building a new habit. Which method of meditating felt like something you'd actually look forward to doing everyday?
Knowing all that you do now about how the brain and body work, which way of meditating encouraged you? Were there any methods that you found yourself reflecting positively on? The soundtrack of your mind is so important in crafting a life you love, and inviting awareness about the activities that trigger positive thoughts is incredibly valuable.
BUILD YOUR PRACTICE
PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
It's time for you to experiment with what it will feel like to customize a practice that works for you!
In this section you will find short guided excerpts of each of the mediation techniques you've learned so far. These are your building blocks to use together in various order to find what suits you best. You may also want to download the meditations from the previous days and add any of these building block components before or after those meditations.
The easiest way we've found to do this is download them onto your device and create a playlist in the order you'd like to practice them. This way they will seamlessly move from one track to the next without you having to open your eyes. You may also eventually want to add instrumental tracks before or after your other tracks to practice the meditation techniques without guidance.
Let this be easy, loving and fun! Here are a few ideas:
Begin with Open-Focus Breath Awareness building block, then into Heart-Centered building block and finally Relaxation into space building block.
Begin with Heart-Centered building block, then do the full-length Mantra Meditation from Day 5.
Full-length Open-Focus Body Awareness followed by the Relaxation building block and the Heart-Centered building block.
The options are endless! Don't overthink this. Just go with whatever is easiest and feels most fun. And if layering the building blocks together feels like too much, simply go back to whatever day resonated most with you and practice that meditation again.
Focus Your Attention
We want to take a moment to acknowledge the incredible amount of progress you've made in the past few days. In less than a week, you've practiced five new ways of meditating and been exposed to an immense amount of technical information about the way your brain and body work. That's no small feat!
Today can be an overwhelming day for some people. It doesn't have to be (let it be easy!), but we know that it can. Layering the meditations may feel like too much at this point, and that's okay. Today is an incredible day to practice making loving choices for what works best for you.
At our retreats, we talk a lot about integration. Integration is the time it takes for the brain and body to fully process, digest and absorb information. Think about it like physical digestion in the body. Some foods move through your system quickly and with ease, while others may move more slowly and need more energy to assimilate. The same goes for the information and meditation you are learning in this class.
Everyone's personal integration process will look different and will manifest itself in different ways. Some people may notice they need more sleep as they move through this work, while others may marvel that they're waking earlier and earlier. Some may feel quiet and introspective, while others may want to shout everything they're learning from the rooftops.
Undoubtedly whether it has already happened or is yet to come, there is always a moment when it all clicks. We've seen it time and time again at retreats, and no matter where you are in the process, we want to encourage you that if it hasn't already happened, your moment will come. The key is being patient, open and persistent in your efforts.
Today would be a beautiful day to simply pause and reflect on your own personal integration process. Gauge how you are feeling and see if there is some loving kindness you can offer yourself that would aid in moving you forward in the work. The key to a devoted practice in our experience is finding the balance being loving yet firm with yourself. You're worth it.
Expand Your Awareness
LOG YOUR PROGRESS
Today is the day to reflect on all you've learned and practiced thus far!
Record any lingering impressions that have gone unwritten or unsaid to this point.
How has your experience been with each of the meditations? What have you noticed about your energy?
When you close your eyes and envision your meditation practice unfolding, what do you see? Which meditation are you using? For how long? At what time of day?
Where can you invite more ease into your practice?
Take this time to log your progress and dream about what you'd like to create going forward.